Tag Archives: Fire and Ice

Teaser Tuesday: Fire and Ice by Portia Da Costa

Today we have the lovely Portia Da Costa sharing an exclusive excerpt with us from her story Fire and Ice.

Surrender to sexual healing…
Super efficient P.A. Cally Hobbes is head over heels in love with her handsome boss, the urbane and delicious Innes McKenzie. Day after day, beneath her cool, businesslike exterior, she’s simmering hot for him, and she knows he’s not entirely immune to her either, despite their perfect, above-board working relationship.

Icy weather, a broken central heating system, and a dose of twenty four hour flu suddenly change everything. With Innes alone and laid low in his frozen flat, Cally’s golden chance to get close finally arrives. Innes is freezing, and she’s burning for his touch, so what else can a girl do but climb into her boss’s bed to warm up his chilly limbs with a loving application of body heat?

An overnight recovery quickly leads to a very different kind of therapy, one that makes all Cally’s dreams of passion flame into life. Sex with her beloved Innes is everything she’s fantasized about, and more. Much, much more.

But will their mutual desire and tender feelings survive a return to office propriety? Working together as P.A. and boss again, can Cally and Innes share the lasting glow of love?

On the landing, I locate his door. Raising my hand to knock, I pause then try the handle. The door’s unlocked and I push it open and step inside – where the meat locker chill hits me in the face. Along with another shock.

I don’t know what I was expecting. I’ve been envisioning the sick Innes as still looking suave and immaculate, as always. I’ve pictured him in jeans and a beautiful sweater, maybe with a scarf as a concession. Or maybe a sexy, high end robe – thick and deluxe, very masculine, worn over classy sweat pants or something.

But reality, he looks like a deranged wild man shambling through a disaster zone of tissues, abandoned blankets and empty coffee cups and half drunk glasses of Lemsip.

There’s even a tangle of forlorn, un-hung Christmas decorations on the coffee table. “Oh my God, boss, you look terrible!”

It’s out of my mouth before I can stop it, and Innes scowls as if it’s hit home. He does look dreadful, though. For him.

“Well, thanks for that.”

To offset the biting cold, he’s wrapped himself in the duvet off his bed, and he’s padding around in his feet bare, the idiot. His usually immaculately groomed black hair is all mad curls and tufts and his handsome face is frighteningly pale, but with hot flags of a fever flush across his cheekbones. Even so, he somehow still manages to look gorgeous, devastating virus or not.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it like that. It’s just that I’ve never seen you ill and you look… different.”

He hitches up his slithering duvet. Oh God, he’s shaking. “Well, come on in and shut the door. Wouldn’t want to let the heat out, would we?” he finishes savagely, grabbing me by the arm and hauling me inside.

“But this place is like a deep freeze. What’s happened to the heating?” I set down my tote bag in a chair and move aside some cups and newspapers and a bunch of tinsel to put the files he asked for on the coffee table.

Innes throws himself down in another chair, as if he’s finding it hard to stay on his feet. “Everyone in the building’s gone away for Christmas, including the landlord.” He rearranges himself inside his makeshift tent-come-shelter and pulls it up around his ears. “The guy who usually does the central heating has got an emergency job on, and none of the others I’ve rung will come out until after Christmas.”

“But don’t you have a gas or electric fire?” I look around. The place as obviously been remodeled from its original configuration and I can’t see a fire.

“If I had one, I’d have it on, obviously.” His voice sounds really odd, and I realise his teeth are chattering.

Poor thing, he looks so miserable. How awful it must be for a confident, self sufficient man like Innes to be rendered so powerless by illness and circumstance. Innes shrugs in his cocoon and suddenly gives me a shamefaced grin that melts my heart and sends a sensation like warm honey seeping along my veins to pool in certain places.

Dear God, I’m a horrible person! I’m getting the hots for a man who’s probably quite seriously ill!

“Sorry I’m being such an ungrateful bastard,” he rasps, “Forgive me, Cally. You’ve been really helpful and I’m being an arse.”

Helpful? I suppose so. But I’ve got other motives. I can’t believe my luck that circumstances have brought me here, alone, and put me in this strange position of power over the very man I adore.

“You are a bit, but I’ll forgive you because you’re poorly.” I stride across the room and take him by the arm, “Come on, where’s the bedroom? Let’s get you to bed.”

Wearily he hauls himself up, but for a moment a brighter glimmer flares in his eyes, and they look even bluer than normal. It might be the fever… but it might be something else. He might be ill, but he’s still a man. My heart thunders.

“Now that’s a very tempting offer.” His voice doesn’t have its usually strong, decisive ring, but there’s a lot more life in it than there was a moment ago, and suddenly he waggles his dark eyebrows at me. “Sorry, Cally. Must be the lurgi talking. Forget I said that.”

“No problem. Now show me where your bedroom is.” I’m smiling as I follow his shuffling steps. Surely he wouldn’t have said what he said, if deep down a part of him didn’t mean it.

We navigate our way out of the living room, along a little corridor and into his only marginally tidier bedroom, where the denuded bed reveals the home of the duvet. I hustle Innes towards it, but he hesitates. He looks vaguely perplexed in soft light from a couple of wall lamps.

“Come along then. What are you waiting for. Get in and I’ll spread the quilt over you.”

He gives me an odd, almost wicked look. “Okay, Nurse Ratchet.”

I flap the sheets, still waiting for him to comply, but when he shucks off the duvet to climb underneath them, it’s my turn to get a shock of chills and fever.

All this time, he’s been stark naked beneath his quilt.

So what’d you think? Have you read anything by Portia Da Costa before? Do you read or like stories written in first person? And… to sweeten the pot Ms. Da Costa is offering one lucky commenter their choice of one of her print back list books!